Various confessions and Christian communities throughout history have acknowledged that God created the world and human beings for the purpose of revealing himself to them. Our chief purpose is to bring honor and praise to God and to enjoy relationship with him forever. In fact, in the enjoyment of God we reflect his glory and goodness to the world around us. This is why we exist - we were created by God and for God. Now let us look briefly at who and what we are.
Human beings are endowed with intrinsic worth, value and dignity by virtue of their being created male and female in the image and likeness of God (Genesis 1:26,27). The Imago Dei, the image of God in us, is found in our makeup we have a mind, emotions and will. This image also reflects our relational nature in that we are made to be in community with God and others. Finally, the image of God in us is also functional, in that we have been entrusted by God with stewardship and rule of this world (Genesis 1:28, Psalm 8). As such creatures we are more "like God" than any other being vested with beauty and worth distinct within the natural order.
While human beings are vested with this dignity and value, we are also comprehensively fallen in our nature. Our first parents sinned and the created order was thereby cursed by God, people were relationally separated from God and discord was sown in our relationships with one another (Genesis 3). By nature we choose rebellion and independence from God and one another with our lives being in a state of fracture and depravity. The Scriptures clearly teach than we are sinful by nature and by choice and receive the due consequences from a just and holy God.
As such human beings are capable of both the most atrocious and the most wonderful actions. The love of human communities, creative works of art and beauty, technological and intellectual rigor producing wonderful things that ease suffering are all reflective of our creation in the Imago Dei. At the same time we have created and fostered injustice, racism, genocide, insidious ways of maiming and destroying one another, let alone the billions of hurtful and intolerant acts inflicted on each other daily during the course of time.
We believe that the gospel, the view of humanity in the Scriptures, holds both of these truths in tension. The beauty and depravity, man's glory and his fallenness, are twin truths of reality. We will not cut off the leg that says all people are valuable, nor will we forfeit the evident truth that we are in great need of redemption and reconciliation to God and one another other. Human beings are valuable enough to be worth redeeming; and sinful enough to desperately need the fundamental change of heart that comes by the grace of God in Jesus Christ.